E-commerce

Building Immersive Shopping Experiences: Using Algolia Search with Adobe Experience Manager and any Commerce Platform
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Adding Algolia to an AEM commerce experience allows retailers to make the most of their content, enrich the buying experience, and be more personalized in how they surface products to shoppers – driving higher conversion and revenue for their online stores.

In this blog, we’ll talk about why search and discovery are important to the shopping experience, and how to approach building this with the quickest time to value.

Building immersive shopping experiences

The best online retailers strive to create immersive shopping experiences using content and rich assets to complement the products they are trying to sell. What do we mean by immersive?

  • Beautiful landing pages
  • Guided customer navigation through the buying journey
  • Information to educate shoppers about products
  • Federated search-as-you-type results with dynamic facets
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Dynamic banners & contextualized promotions
  • Dialogues to gain more information about shopper intent

Many leading retailers choose to use a CMS such as Adobe Experience Manager as the front-end to create these immersive experiences. Through AEM, retailers can compose the site, manage their global sites, and bring in assets to enrich the commerce experience.

Breville is a great example of an online retailer who has combined content and products to create immersive experiences. They have been thoughtful about search and discovery as a part of that experience, even creating guided selling experiences, via an interactive quiz, that helps a shopper better understand their preferences and discover the Breville products they are most likely to enjoy.

Visit their guided experience here to see it for yourself, and maybe even find your perfect coffee machine ☕️ or juicer 🍎! 

Breville’s eCommerce site

 

Breville quiz to find the perfect juicer

Algolia, Adobe Experience Manager, and CIF

Search and Discovery are key pieces of creating an immersive eCommerce experience, which is why Algolia and Adobe partner to offer search on top of Adobe Experience Manager. Algolia’s search engine allows retailers to deliver lightning fast search on their site. Publishers are given the tools to control content & products based on relevancy, business metrics, and insights from machine learning models. With Algolia A/B testing, they can run experiments and measure improvements, to see how better search capabilities impact their bottom line. Ultimately, Algolia helps create more engaging experiences on AEM at scale using a combination of science and art. 

Adobe Experience Manager provides a framework for a commerce integration known as the Commerce Integration Framework (CIF) to accelerate the development of a storefront on AEM. With CIF installed and configured, authors can easily bring product and category data from Adobe Commerce or any third party eCommerce platform into AEM, and build the core front-end store experience. Algolia takes this one step further, providing a way to build search and discovery experiences across a retailer’s eCommerce data and the rich content from AEM.

Algolia provides AEM components that federate across commerce and content including:

  • Global Search with Autocomplete
  • Federated Search & Browse with InstantSearch
  • Content Recommendations
  • Product recommendations (can utilize CIF to reference product IDs)
  • Category pages (can utilize CIF to reference Category IDs)

 

AEM’s WKND demo with Algolia search

How to get started

Powerful search and discovery is a game-changer, and retailers want to get it up and running as quickly as possible, so they can start to experiment, iterate, and measure results. Here, we share 4 steps to add search to an eCommerce experience in Adobe Experience Manager – in a way that leads to the quickest time to value.

1. Index all the products and content that should be discoverable on the site

The retailer may choose a few different sources – including a PIM, the eCommerce engine, their service platform for FAQs, and the CMS where they manage content. Algolia offers a number of API clients to index and keep information synced with any of these systems. For a few popular platforms like Adobe Commerce, Adobe Experience Manager, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, commercetools, and Shopify, we offer integrations to make this much faster.

 

2. Configure the search and discovery using metadata, business ranking criteria, and AI

Configuring logic happens in the Algolia dashboard to intelligently rank category pages, search results, and offer the right recommendations. Many users will run experiments and A/B test from within the dashboard to see which levers lead to the highest conversion rates. Ultimately, the goal here is to match the intent of the shoppers and drive revenue through better search and discovery. 

Here the retailer can manage things like: 

  • Relevance Tuning
  • Custom Ranking
  • Dynamic Re-Ranking
  • Personalization
  • Merchandising
  • Query Rules
  • Synonyms
  • A/B Testing
  • Analytics
  • And much more…

For example, the retailer could add a banner that appears every time a shopper searches for the word “sale”. They would create an “if this, then that” rule in Algolia, and render a banner. That banner could be created in Adobe Experience Manager as a fragment and referred to using the publish URL.

Algolia query rule

 

Banner powered by Algolia query rule

 

3. Add Algolia to the Front-End

Building the UI within Adobe Experience Manager can be done using 2 methods: (1) Using Algolia’s UI library available in Javascript, React, Vue, and more, or (2) using Algolia’s AEM UI Components Accelerator. To create a federated search, simply add each index to the Algolia component, using the name of the index as defined in Algolia. In the global search bar, the retailer may add one index for products and another for articles, creating a rich commerce + content experience.

For those using the Commerce Integration Framework, we provide the option of Algolia CIF components that easily connect to the Adobe Commerce endpoint (or another commerce engine), and dynamically generate category pages and product detail pages based on the category IDs and product IDs defined through CIF. These category pages can then display all the products using the logic and AI set up in Algolia. 

AEM author dialogue for Algolia category page

The product detail pages can include Recommendations powered by Algolia. These, like the product detail pages, will be dynamically rendered Recommendations, based on the product that the shopper is viewing. These recommendations can be pulled from the product index or even shared as relevant content from another index.

Algolia component for recommended products on PDP
Recommended ‘Related Products’ configuration

4. Tracking the results for analytics and machine learning

Our events can be tracked via our AEM components. Through the components, select the box to “Track Algolia Events”, and a second tab will appear to configure the “click” or “conversion” event. Another option is to send Algolia events through a tag manager like Adobe Launch. Tracking the results will allow the Algolia engine to become even smarter, understanding how to personalize results for a given user, provide product recommendations, and dynamically re-rank the items based on the crowd.

Click and conversion events tracking through the Recommend AEM component

 

The pieces are there to connect search to your commerce platform and content management system, and create an enriching shopping experience that guides the shopper, presents the most relevant items, and ultimately drives more conversions.

 

Want to learn more or find out how you can try Algolia?

Reach out to us at adobe-algolia-solutions@algolia.com for access to our AEM accelerators and guidance on how to start building Algolia into your AEM solution with the Commerce Integration Framework! We are happy to chat with you about best practices, trade-offs, and learn what works best for you!

Check out the rest of our ‘Adobe x Algolia Integrations’ series, including our last piece: Algolia Powered Search Components on Adobe Experience Manager.

 

About the authorDebanshi Bheda

Debanshi Bheda

Global Alliances Director - Algolia

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